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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to pull the trigger on a new bike and have been looking at my options for a while. Looking for around the 1k budget give or take

I have been looking for used and nothing has really been coming around or people want way to much for used..so I think that is going to be out of the running

Some of the bikes I have been thinking about are below. I am new to componentry and such but learning and looking for a trail bike. Something that I can take just about anywhere. Up and downhill, single tracks, local trails, ski hills, local river bottom trials etc....and even riding around paved trails with the fam.

A few choices I have are the following. Any input would be great if anyone owns these or upsides or downsides or input on something that I may not know about....Haven't really decided on 29 or 27.5
Salsa, Trek, Specialized, Rocky Mountain I think I can all get local otherwise have to order online

SalsaTimberjack
https://www.freewheelbike.com/product/salsa-timberjack-deore-27.5-346084-1.htm

Nuke Proof Scout 27.5 or 29
https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/nukeproof-scout-275-sport-mountain-bike-2019/rp-prod170309

Rocky Mountain Growler
https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/growler/2019

Marin Nail Trail
https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/marin-nail-trail-7-27-5-hardtail-bike-2018/rp-prod186796

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/marin-nail-trail-6-27-5-hardtail-bike-2019/rp-prod186794

Vitus Sentier
https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/vitus-sentier-mountain-bike-deore-1x10-2019/rp-prod173163

Trek Roscoe 7
https://www.freewheelbike.com/product/trek-roscoe-7-342170-1.htm

Specialized Fuse
https://www.eriksbikeshop.com/specialized-2019-fuse-base-650b-mountain-bike/pr3e16575/product

Framed
https://www.the-house.com/qfrmasx71...act&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_campaign=526811
 

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If you can bump your budget up by about 300-400 dollars, that will open up a window of decent hardtails to start with. The first thing that will be asked is where will you be riding at and what’s your height and size.

I am in a similar boat as I had my first beginner bike last year which I sold last week. It was a specialized Pitch Expert but it didn’t have and air fork or 1x drivetrain. I found out I liked riding and now will be purchasing my first true hardtail with better components. I to looked at the Salsa Timberjack SLX ans that will run you around $1300 at least from my LBS. My other option which I’m leaning towards is the Kona Honzo which is right at $1400 currently.


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I will add that both bikes i mentioned come with RockShox airfield. 1x11 drivetrain and a dropper post.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will add that both bikes i mentioned come with RockShox airfield. 1x11 drivetrain and a dropper post.

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Everything I have listed is all 1x. And that is what I am looking for.
Some, most I have listed listed have a dropped post which is a bonus.

Looking for trail bikes. I'm 5'11" and about 175.
 

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Have you been able to test ride anything yet? Fit is going to be really important as well.


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To make things more confusing, check out the Ragley Big Al. I'm not saying its better than the others, but it is another enticing option.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/ragley-big-al-hardtail-bike-2019/rp-prod176554

Also, the Marin Nail Trail 7 is an amazing deal right now (as its ~40% off), if thats the style of bike that you're looking for, I'd jump on that. The spec on it is great, but the geo is on the more conservative side nowadays, which is really my only "reservation" about it. From the "value" perspective of what parts you get for the $$$, I think its the standout at the moment.

I think I'd personally prefer a more aggressive geo on my next hardtail, so I'd mostly be looking at things like the nukeproof scout/Ragley/sentier, etc. But, the Nail trails geo is somewhat similar to the SC Chameleon, which people seem to love, so maybe its just what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To make things more confusing, check out the Ragley Big Al. I'm not saying its better than the others, but it is another enticing option.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/ragley-big-al-hardtail-bike-2019/rp-prod176554

Also, the Marin Nail Trail 7 is an amazing deal right now (as its ~40% off), if thats the style of bike that you're looking for, I'd jump on that. The spec on it is great, but the geo is on the more conservative side nowadays, which is really my only "reservation" about it. From the "value" perspective of what parts you get for the $$$, I think its the standout at the moment.

I think I'd personally prefer a more aggressive geo on my next hardtail, so I'd mostly be looking at things like the nukeproof scout/Ragley/sentier, etc. But, the Nail trails geo is somewhat similar to the SC Chameleon, which people seem to love, so maybe its just what you're looking for.
thanks for the link...do you know the head tube angle by chance?
 

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You've got a pretty solid list. You need to start weeding stuff out, which means it's time to ride some bikes. It's late spring/summer and there should be plenty of bike demos available in your area. To be fair, lots of these demos won't have bikes in this kind of category to try (they tend to have limited space, and only bring the newest, most expensive bikes and the ones getting the most buzz in the bike media). So you might have to get creative. You might find other riders willing to let you try their bikes for a short spell. You might find rentals. You might find a shop with a short demo trail out back. That sort of stuff.

The last bike I bought, I found a guy willing to let me try his out. I ended up buying the frame off of him a few months later and I finished building it a couple months ago.
 

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thanks for the link...do you know the head tube angle by chance?
Of which bike?

Each of them are available on the website there. It looks like the Big Al is 65.5 degree on the HTA.

Ragley also makes a few more aggressive bikes though, like the mmmbop, which has a HTA of 63.75 degrees (its a 27.5 bike though).

The chameleon is 67.3 degrees, ish, depending on tire selection/fork.

The Nail trail has a HTA of 68 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You've got a pretty solid list. You need to start weeding stuff out, which means it's time to ride some bikes. It's late spring/summer and there should be plenty of bike demos available in your area. To be fair, lots of these demos won't have bikes in this kind of category to try (they tend to have limited space, and only bring the newest, most expensive bikes and the ones getting the most buzz in the bike media). So you might have to get creative. You might find other riders willing to let you try their bikes for a short spell. You might find rentals. You might find a shop with a short demo trail out back. That sort of stuff.

The last bike I bought, I found a guy willing to let me try his out. I ended up buying the frame off of him a few months later and I finished building it a couple months ago.
yeah the few internet options I am a little leery about by not getting to at least sit on them and see clearance and feel.
Most demos always feature top of the line FS that no one can afford anyways. FUn to try but 4k-8k bikes
 

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yeah the few internet options I am a little leery about by not getting to at least sit on them and see clearance and feel.
Most demos always feature top of the line FS that no one can afford anyways. FUn to try but 4k-8k bikes
Sometimes you can get lucky with a bigger selection of bikes on a bigger demo truck. You've just got to be persistent and ask to figure out what they've got. Either way, you have to be proactive and seek out rental/demo rides on the bikes that interest you most. You don't necessarily have to ride everything. But you should seek out what you can so you can establish a framework that can inform/educate you on what you can't ride. Still, there will always be an additional risk to buying something without being able to ride it, and that's one reason why those bikes are usually a bit less expensive.
 

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If you are going to spend 1000, the Nail Trail 7 is the best speced bike on this page, by a fair margin. Granted, it's not the slackest, but I'm not sure super slack is that good for a starter hardtail. It's not an XC hardtail, by any stretch.

The problem I see with the Sonder, which isn't a huge deal is SX drivetrain. That's SRAMs new entry level. NX is roughly equivalent to Shimano Deore, probably a bit worse, so SX would have to be getting down to Altus/Alivio territory.

Pretty much everything Marin has done since 2017 revisions to their lineup has been well received. A review. https://factoryjackson.com/2017/02/14/marin-nail-trail-6-review/

And another. https://www.imbikemag.com/reviews/bikes/hard-tails/marin-bikes-nail-trail-7-2017/
 
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